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¶1. Summary: Uganda remained vulnerable to international
terrorism, with members of al-Qa’ida East Africa using Uganda as a
transit point. Al-Qa’ida and the Somali-based al Shabaab posed the
most significant terrorist threats to Uganda. There were no
terrorist attacks during the year, and Uganda took tangible steps
to track, capture, and hold individuals with suspected links to
terrorist organizations. Uganda continued to pursue the Lord’s
Resistance Army (LRA) in coordination with the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC), Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR).
Additional counterterrorism legislation and law enforcement
training will improve Uganda’s ability to counter terrorist
threats. End Summary.
¶2. There were no terrorists attacks in Uganda during the year.
However, Uganda remained vulnerable to international terrorism.
Uganda is not regarded as a terrorist safe haven, but al-Qa’ida
East Africa members moving between the Horn of Africa, North
Africa, and Europe continued to use Uganda as a transit point.
While in transit, al-Qa’ida members are believed to have procured
government documents illegally and engaged in recruitment
activities. In response, the Government of Uganda increased
efforts to track, capture, and hold individuals with suspected
links to terrorist organizations. Uganda’s Joint Anti-Terrorism
Taskforce (JATT), which is comprised of military, police, and
intelligence entities, led Uganda’s counterterrorism response.
¶3. In September, November, and December, the Ugandan government
raised alert levels and increased security at government
installations, popular shopping centers, hotels, and other soft
targets due to threats from al-Qaida East Africa and the
Somali-based terrorist group al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab identified
Uganda as a potential target in retaliation for Uganda’s
participation in the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
¶4. The Ugandan military continued to track, in coordination with
the DRC, Sudan, and CAR, remnants of the LRA, which was designated
as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in June 2008. The LRA has not
carried out an attack in Uganda since mid-2006, but was responsible
for killing, raping, and kidnapping hundreds of persons in southern
Sudan, the DRC, and CAR. During the year, 255 LRA combatants
surrendered to the government and were granted amnesty under the
country’s Amnesty Act of 2000.
¶5. The DRC based Ugandan rebel group Allied Democratic Forces
(ADF) remained at large in eastern DRC. Although the ADF threat
remained relatively minor compared to recent years, the group’s
access to funding and training from international support networks
was of concern. Forty-eight ADF combatants were granted amnesty
during the reporting period.
¶6. The U.S. Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATA) conducted an
assessment of the Ugandan government’s counterterrorism
capabilities in June. While the Ugandan government was a strong
advocate for cross-border solutions to persistent security concerns
in the Great Lakes Region, resource limitations and corruption
hampered more effective counterterrorism measures. There is also a
need to amend the 2002 Anti-terrorism Act, enact comprehensive
anti-money laundering legislation pending before Parliament, and
improve coordination and information sharing between security
services. Greater police capacity to investigate cases against
suspected terrorists is also required.
¶7. The U.S. Mission point of contact is Political Officer Trevor
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